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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Vidalia-Natchez-St Francisville-New Iberia

Hello Trekkers! I've bombarded you with probably four photo albums this evening but I decided to divide the pictures into little stories. First, rather than adding to the album in which we arrived in Vidalia with the views of our room and the Mississippi River and Natchez, I made a new album that showed the River and its activity starting with evening as we were getting ready to eat and then bed down. If, as you look at the pictures, you read the info beneath them, there is a date and time when the photo was taken. You will see that when I retired shortly after 11, the bridge was still ablaze with light as was Natchez. It was a restless night for me--I think the stress of doing the bills--I just hate accounting--the softness of the bed, my fatigue and the impending trip to Grandmother's Buttons all played a role in waking me several times during the night and early morning hours. I took the opportunities to see what was happening on the Big Muddy--nothing!--the bridge--who could find it??--and Natchez--pretty quiet. It was fun to see the difference in the lighting of the sky as morning started to come and watch an adorable little tug racing down to the next dock--probably getting ready to start its day with a waiting barge--in the pitch darkness. THEN, when I awoke for the day, imagine the surprise of a picture window blank as inactive TV screen--fogged in!! Took ages for the fog to lift and by the time it did we were ready to head back across the bridge to Natchez and hang a right onto Rt 61 which goes almost straight as a die to St Francisville. While we were near the River the fog that had lifted created huge clouds that I was sure was going to cover the sky. Yet, as we continued farther south and more away from the water, they broke up into much smaller masses. St Francisville is an adorable little town with many small, very old houses. It is on the Mississippi, up on a hill above it. I'm not sure what brought us here the first time on our first trip. I don't think I knew about Grandmother's Buttons--I think we found it as we drove around the town. I know we went to several plantations on that first visit and I think they were the reason we came. That first year there was a Comfort Inn there--the motel still exists but it is not part of the chain and is considerably more expensive than those that are. I love this village, but I suspect there is a great deal of money behind those doors and to live here would be beyond our means. I've made one album of the drive down to and around the village. Grandmother's Buttons is a small company owned by a lady who loved playing with her Grandmother's Buttons and who, when she grew up, continued playing with buttons--all sorts, mostly vintage --some more modern. She and her workers craft them into impossibly beautiful pieces of jewelry that are quite reasonably priced. The workshop is on the second floor of this salmon colored building, which is an old bank. As you walk into the store, you encounter the original bank of tellers windows fitted into a curved wall of beautifully carved wood. The setting is perfect for the product. I've made a separate album called "the jewels" because not only do I make a visit here every year to add to my collection and buy my daughter's birthday gift, but I also have turned my sister and my friend, Joyce, onto the jewelry. So, I tried to make this a special album for them. Barb has been there with me, but Joyce has not. Toward the end of the photos I've shown my purchases this year, except Betsy's gift which Susan will mail to her for me. Susan was in Las Vegas this time so I was not able to pass on your message directly to her, Joyce but I left it with the salesgirl. Also, since she wasn't there, I had to leave the bracelet Bill bought me for Easter which I wanted altered and a pair of Barb's earrings which she wanted altered. ( BTW, I wore them for a whole day and didn't have the problem; wore mine and they were fine, too. BUT, I asked for the alteration you want. Both items will be mailed to me in Vt and I'll get the earrings to you when I get home, Barb) The last album covers the final leg of today's journey--South and West--on the backroads we know as well as those back home. Across the Atchafalaya Swamp, down through Breaux Bridge with its allees of Live Oak, festooned with Spanish moss and resurrection fern, past St Peter's in New Iberia to Chile's and dinner. Then to the Quality Inn on Rt 14. Tomorrow, we will make reservations to go on the Cajun Swamp Tour and see the alligators in Lake Martin, we'll go to Books along the Teche for my next David Robicheaux novel and something by a local author or set in the local vicinity, Bill will go to our Bank and get some nickels to peruse, we'll go to Shucks for raw oysters and crawfish etoufee, and we'll go to Konriko and pick up some pecan oil. . We'll be here until Sunday morning--so we'll be making a foray up to Lafayette for boudin and a Borden's banana split. I'll get brownies and mini chocolate-coconut whoopee pies from Keller's and Bill will go to the coin shop. This is an annual stomping grounds--lots of regular things to do and a little exploration to see what we've missed through the years. As for tonight, having already watched the only two shows I cared about, Lethal Weapon and something or other Crimes, I will try to get closer to the end of the book I've been reading, it seems like forever. And then to bed. I hear the Northeast is getting some bearable weather for a change. Glad Joyce and Betsy and Jane are having some pleasant weather for their school breaks. Hope everyone else is safe and warm and dry. Until next time, which may not be for a few days--good night from Cajun country. KandB

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